The SMA, for what mission ?
A week after the start of the General Assembly this is the question which the delegates are now trying to define.
The title echoes the Questionnaire which all SMA members received several months ago in preparation for GA13).
Our mission will address the challenges, priorities and plans for SMA mission for the coming six years.
Our work, in groups and plenary sessions, was guided by the following priorities :
– An insistence on the traditional mission of the SMA which comes from the Founder, Bishop de Brésillac : Primary Evangelization and a presence with the most abandoned. At the same time as we seek a consensus on what these terms mean we also take note that they have a geographic and sociological understanding.
– In dealing with the above we need to be attentive to the following :
religious extremism (especially in the Muslim areas);
the need to protect children and vulnerable adults;
involvement in Justice & Peace and Environmental issues;
promoting greater solidarity among peoples and ourselves;
our need to be more transparent in the use of resources (material and personnel) and our interpersonal relationships.
– The necessity today to work with the local Churches, and not for them. In collaboration with other religious institutes, the SMA will seek ways to respond to the pastoral needs of these Churches through the formation of clergy and lay persons, and through new methods of evangelization, particularly media, psychological accompaniment, inter-cultural dialogue…
This work of the Groups will finish on Wednesday, 17 April. It will help us in formulating a detailed text in relation to Challenges and Priorities, and help us define an Action Plan to be put into practice over the coming six years.
The above report is an edited translation from the original French text by Fr André N’koy Odimba